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Interplay of cognitive control in behavioral and neurophysiological correlates: Towards an understanding of control in human behavior

Applicant Rey-Mermet Alodie
Number 164598
Funding scheme Advanced Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution Lehrstuhl Psychologie I Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.07.2016 - 30.06.2019
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Keywords (2)

cognitive/executive control; event-related potentials

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Stellen Sie sich vor, Sie sind auf dem Heimweg. Durch Ihre Routine können Sie zügig fahren und zugleich die Nachrichten hören. Auch das rechtzeitige Bremsen vor einer roten Ampel stellt kein Problem dar. Wenn Sie nun aber die Sirene eines Krankenwagens hören, dann sind Sie in der Lage, sowohl die Ampel als auch die Nachrichten zu ignorieren, um Ihr Auto zur Seite zu fahren. Die kognitiven Prozesse, die in solchen Konfliktsituationen ins Spiel kommen, werden als Kontrollprozesse bezeichnet. Ziel dieses Forschungsprojekts ist es zu verstehen, wie diese Kontrollprozesse implementiert werden und wie sie interagieren.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojektes

Im vorliegenden Projekt werden die Kontrollprozesse anhand der Stroop- und Simon-Aufgabe untersucht. In der Stroop Aufgabe werden die Probanden gebeten anzugeben in welcher Farbe ein Farbwort gedruckt ist (z.B. das Wort „rot“ in grün geschrieben), gleichzeitig aber die Bedeutung des Wortes zu ignorieren. In der Simon Aufgabe sollen die Probanden die Farbe eines Reizes durch Drücken einer linken oder rechten Taste anzeigen, die Position des Reizes auf dem Bildschirm aber ignorieren. Es konnte gezeigt werden, dass wenn beide Aufgaben kombiniert werden (z.B. wenn das Farbwort links oder rechts präsentiert wird), die Kontrollprozesse, die durch jede Aufgabe induziert werden, interagieren. In diesem Projekt wird anhand von Verhaltens- sowie Elektroenzephalographie (EEG) Experimenten untersucht, wie diese Interaktion zustande kommt.

 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Dieses Projekt befasst sich mit einem Kernproblem der menschlichen Kognition: Wie schaffen wir alltäglich, mehrere Konflikte gleichzeitig zu lösen? Dies zu erforschen ist wichtig, da in unserer Gesellschaft Multitasking eine immer grössere Bedeutung zugeschrieben wird.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 17.12.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Sequential conflict resolution under multiple concurrent conflicts: An ERP study
Rey-Mermet Alodie, Gade Miriam, Steinhauser Marco (2019), Sequential conflict resolution under multiple concurrent conflicts: An ERP study, in NeuroImage, 188, 411-418.
Contextual within-trial adaptation of cognitive control: Evidence from the combination of conflict tasks
Rey-Mermet Alodie, Gade Miriam (2016), Contextual within-trial adaptation of cognitive control: Evidence from the combination of conflict tasks, in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 42(10), 1505-1532.

Datasets

Sequential conflict resolution under multiple concurrent conflicts: An ERP study

Author Rey-Mermet, Alodie; Gade, Miriam; Steinhauser, Marco
Publication date 19.12.2018
Persistent Identifier (PID) 10.17605/OSF.IO/GV46K
Repository Open Science Framework


Contextual within-trial adaptation of cognitive control: Evidence from the combination of conflict tasks

Author Rey-Mermet, Alodie; Gade, Miriam
Publication date 11.07.2019
Persistent Identifier (PID) 10.17605/OSF.IO/PTG4N
Repository Open Science Framework


Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Christina Bermeitinger, "Allgemeine Psychologie" unit, University of Hildesheim Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Colloquium Cognitive Science Individual talk How do we resolve multiple concurrent conflicts? 09.05.2019 Kaiserslautern, Germany Rey-Mermet Alodie;
The 61th Conference of Experimental Psychologists Talk given at a conference Sequential conflict resolution under multiple concurrent conflicts: An ERP study 15.04.2019 London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Rey-Mermet Alodie;
The 59th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society Poster “Stop Thinking about Inhibition as a Psychometric Construct” Revisited: Speed-Accuracy Tradeoffs have No Impact 15.11.2018 New Orleans, United States of America Rey-Mermet Alodie;
The 58th Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR) Poster Within-trial adaptation of conflict processing by stimulus conflict 03.10.2018 Quebec City, Canada Rey-Mermet Alodie;
International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society Talk given at a conference To solve several conflicts concurrently, do we need more control or more slowing? 10.05.2018 Amsterdam, Netherlands Rey-Mermet Alodie;
The 60th Conference of Experimental Psychologists Talk given at a conference To solve several conflicts concurrently, do we need more control or more slowing? 11.03.2018 Marburg, Germany Rey-Mermet Alodie;
The 58th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society Poster Executive control, working memory capacity and fluid intelligence: Investigating the Bermuda Triangle 09.11.2017 Vancouver, Canada Rey-Mermet Alodie;
International Conference Cognitive Neuroscience of Executive Functions Poster Stop thinking about inhibition! Searching for individual and age differences in inhibition as a psychometric construct 28.09.2017 Padova, Italy Rey-Mermet Alodie;
The 20th meeting of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology Talk given at a conference Executive control, working memory capacity and fluid intelligence: Investigating the Bermuda Triangle 03.09.2017 Potsdam, Germany Rey-Mermet Alodie;
The 4th International Conference Aging & Cognition Poster Stop thinking about inhibition! Searching for individual and age differences in inhibition as a psychometric construct 20.04.2017 Zurich, Switzerland Rey-Mermet Alodie;
The 59th Conference of Experimental Psychologists Talk given at a conference Inhibition, working memory capacity and fluid intelligence: Investigating the Bermuda Triangle 26.03.2017 Dresden, Germany Rey-Mermet Alodie;


Abstract

Our society increasingly requires us to be multitaskers in everyday life, such as answering a phone call while driving or scheduling meetings during cooking. Due to this, we encounter frequent situations in which we face multiple conflicts at the same time that require rapid decisions regarding how to react according to our current goals. To resolve these concurrent conflicts, we implement cognitive control processes. Cognitive/executive control is among the core cognitive processes because it allows us to adapt to environmental changes in a fast and flexible way. The processes behind such adaptability include focusing attention on the relevant information as well as inhibiting competing alternatives or habitual responses. Investigating the question of how cognitive control processes are implemented and how they interact is, therefore, an important pre-requisite towards understanding human behavior. The purpose of this project is to contribute to this endeavor. In cognitive psychology, control processes are investigated by presenting incongruent stimuli (i.e., stimuli which induce a conflict between response alternatives). For instance, a stimulus is incongruent when the color word “green” is printed in red (Stroop), when the stimulus is associated with a left key-press but is presented on the right side of the screen (Simon), or when the relevant stimulus is flanked by irrelevant characters (Flanker). Responding to incongruent trials requires us to activate goal-relevant features (e.g., the color “red”, the left key-press or the central stimulus, respectively) and inhibit irrelevant ones (i.e., the word meaning “green”, the right side, or the irrelevant characters, respectively). Recent research has highlighted different inhibition processes (Stahl et al., 2014). However, it is unclear how these different inhibition processes interact to allow a rapid and goal-appropriate adjustment of control when multiple conflicts are presented concurrently. So far, only a few studies have addressed this question by combining two conflict tasks. For example, the Stoop task was paired with a Simon task by presenting the color words on either the right or left side (e.g., Hommel, 1997, Kornblum, 1997, Wendt, Kluwe, & Peters, 2006). The results were mixed. Some studies found no interaction between the control processes deployed to solve the two conflicts (e.g., Hommel, 1997; Kornblum, 1994). In contrast, other studies found an interaction such that inhibiting the irrelevant information of one conflict facilitates the processing of the other conflict (Hommel, 1997, Wendt et al., 2006). Critically, when the stimulus set size for each task was large enough to discourage the use of episodic memory processes to perform the task, the results revealed an interaction between the conflicts, irrespective of the conflict combination (i.e., Stroop with Flanker, Stroop with Simon, or Flanker with Simon; see Rey-Mermet & Gade, 2015). The purpose of the present project is to use behavioral measures as well as event-related potentials (ERPs) in order to investigate how responding to multiple conflicts within the same trial results in an interaction of control processes. To this end, the first part of the project is designed to determine to what extent this interaction results from a temporal, verbal or spatial overlap in the processes underlying task performance. In the second part, the aim is to discover the processes responsible for the interplay of cognitive control. Specifically, the focus will be on disentangling the impact of conflict detection and control implementation by means of ERPs, then on the contribution of stimulus/response frequency, and finally on the precise role of inhibitory processes. In sum, the overall goal is to advance our understanding of flexible adjustments of cognitive control processes, especially in situations that require handling of multiple conflicts at the same time.
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